Salihu Lukman, the All Progressives Congress (APC) north-west vice-chairman, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari against using the “succession framework” in selecting the ruling party’s presidential candidate.
This was Lukman’s reaction to the president’s meeting with APC governors on Tuesday.
During the meeting, Buhari asked the governors to keep an eye out for “changing dynamics” in selecting the party’s presidential candidate.
However, in a letter to the president on Wednesday, the APC chieftain urged all party leaders to “show restraint at this time of transition.”
“During the consultative meeting with Progressive Governors on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, Your Excellency unambiguously conveyed the resolve to provide every needed leadership for our great party, APC, to remain strong and united to improve our electoral fortunes,” the letter reads.
“Highlighting some of the internal policies, which allowed ‘first term Governors who have served credibly well …to stand for re-election’ and ‘second term Governors …accorded the privilege of promoting successors that are capable of driving their visions’, Your Excellency solicited for ‘reciprocity and support of Governors and other stakeholders in picking’ your successor, ‘who would fly the flag of our party for election into the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023.’
“This simply means that you want to exercise the same privilege, which is being exercised by Governors in determining who succeeds you as the standard bearer of our party, APC, for the 2023 Presidential election.
“Ordinarily, this should not be a problem. Both party members and leaders will always trust Your Excellency’s judgement.
“However, the big worry is whether loyal party leaders and members should just reduce themselves to being ordinary observers when very sensitive issues with very high potential to diminish and damage Your Excellency’s revered status in the country is being considered.
“Noting that the current phenomena of poor relations between predecessors and successor governors are largely a product of poorly instituted political succession arrangement in the country, which is impulsive and imposing, it will be highly risky to adopt the same succession framework as it can erode all your lifelong achievements as someone who contribute a lot to strengthen Nigerian democracy.”